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Pep talk pays off for Chargers


© St. Petersburg Times, published October 19, 2000

The night before the Oct. 12 Largo Invitational, Shorecrest coach Jeff Raab gathered his teams and gave a little pep talk.

"We've had a lot of distractions with Homecoming and other stuff, and I just basically told them we've got to put that stuff behind us and focus from here on out," Raab said. "I told them, "It's time to step it up. Let's go."'

It worked. Both Charger squads had their best race of the season as the girls finished second and the boys third.

The boys' result was particularly noteworthy as four of the first five runners set personal bests. Only Matt Mosby, a junior competing with a chronic sore foot who finished 10th in 16 minutes, 43 seconds, didn't set a PR.

Junior Jason Nereim (17:00), sophomore Keith Evanouskas (17:05), freshman Paul Collins (17:21) and junior Sunny Nath (17:39) established personal bests as the Chargers nearly sneaked up on St. Petersburg Catholic, falling 11 points short of second. For the girls, the top seven runners from the Largo meet -- sophomore Brittany Whitelock, junior Kristin McLain, junior Jenny Fraser, freshman Barbara Chadwick, junior Whitney Bour, junior Desilyn McKeage and junior Stephanie Kyriakides -- represent a bright future for Shorecrest. In the latest Class A state rankings on, the Shorecrest boys are No. 6 and the girls are No. 7.

FORESHADOWING? After its romp at the Largo Invitational, Seminole's boys and girls appear invincible heading into Tuesday's PCAC meet at the same course, Taylor Park.

At the Largo meet, the Warhawk boys' score was complete by the 12th runner. Eliminate the private school runners (who won't be at the PCAC meet) and Seminole finished second, third, fifth, sixth and seventh, a total of 23 and a score that, if duplicated Tuesday, will be one of the greatest results in PCAC annals.

Depth also has been the key for the Seminole girls. Sophomores Meagan Giesa (20:53) and Carly Stransky (21:20), the Nos. 4 and 5 runners, placed 20th and 30th at the Largo meet. PRIVATE MEETING: Today's Keswick Invitational will have 12 to 14 teams, and all of the county's top private school runners are expected to compete.

The final 60 percent of the Lake Seminole course is asphalt, but times usually aren't fast because of the meandering route. There will be just one race apiece for girls and boys, with the girls starting at 4:30 and the boys at 5:15.

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